Feb 25, 2015

Let it Go....a Frozen themed Queen Elsa Doll Cake


I’m super excited about the cake I’m sharing with you all today. I have always wanted to do a doll cake. When my friend’s friend asked me if I can help her with the cake for her daughter’s birthday, the only details she told me was it was going to be a Frozen Princess themed party. I heard ‘princess’ and ‘frozen theme’ and instantly suggested that it would be great to do a queen Elsa doll cake and even her daughter loved the idea.  

The day I bought the Queen Elsa doll,  I was super excited and trust me was tempted to play with it ;-) No wonder kids love barbie dolls and all such pretty dolls. They are just gorgeous!

When I think of the movie Frozen the scene that comes to my mind is when Queen Elsa sings ‘Let it Go’ and builds her beautiful snow castle. I wanted my Queen Elsa to be standing in that pose. 


It was love at first sight when I saw Ipoh Bakery's fashionista doll cakes. I was awed at the beauty of William’s creations and knew that if I ever got a chance at making  a doll cake then this would be it.  William himself was so kind and helped me with few questions I had before I started making the cake.

What makes this cake stand out from the usual doll cakes is that instead of the doll standing wearing her pretty princess gown which is like an inverted dome (this forms the cake), here the doll appears as if its walking forward pulling her beautiful skirt or cape forward. One of her legs are exposed giving it a stylish yet elegant touch and there’s movement and grace and looks so fashionable. The skirt/cape forming the cake.

The only challenge for me was carving the cake to form a smooth skirt that’s following Queen Elsa as she conjures up her Snow castle.  I’m not a fan of carving and wasting precious cake slices. So I made sure each and every carved cake piece was added to the skirt in the best way possible attached with buttercream, giving an overall smooth finish.


The doll is an actual Queen Elsa Doll, which is the only non-edible portion of the cake. The top of the skirt from where the edible portion of the cake starts was 5.5" tall and it extends to be almost 15" long.  


I baked my favorite White Velvet Cake and frosted and filled the cake with creamy Nutella Buttercream…yumm! Covered in homemade marshmallow fondant that I shaded Teal.  

After making the pleats of the skirt I added some final touches in the form of snowflakes and added some shine to the dress and snowflakes using luster dust. 

I left the cake board silver itself as I felt the color combo of Teal-White-Silver looked good for a Frozen theme. Eileen's name and age were placed on snowflakes shimmered with luster dust. I also placed snowflakes in Queen Elsa's palms to imitate the scene in the movie where she conjures snowflakes with her bare hands.


Little Eileen had a wonderful Frozen Princess themed party and my friend said that everyone was just mesmerized with the cake!  ;-) 

So what do you all think?....please do share you feedback. The pics were all taken at night as the party was during the day....waiting to see some pics from the party as well :-)

-Manju

Feb 16, 2015

Cocktail Idli Hearts with Coconut Chutney Shots | V-day special for Anokhi Media


Valentines Day is one of my favorite times of the year. I have always made it a point to celebrate it either by buying sweet and simple gifts for Manish and Appu, by making them some fun dishes and treats or taking a small weekend trip to some fun holiday spot...Kalahari indoor water-park at Wisconsin Dells being our most favorite! 
This year lil'Appu was also super excited about V-day as they were having a sweet party at school sharing goodie bags, cards and treats. He himself signed his name on 21 cards to gift to his pre-school mates and was uber excited about Valentines day!

Any day is a good excuse for me to make some fun sweet treats...V-day being no different. This year, instead of going the sweet treat route, I thought of trying a fun savory twist with our south-indian staple breakfast item....IDLI ;-) I have always loved the idea of cocktail idlis or mini idlis dusted with chutney powder or served with multiple chutneys etc. 

Keeping Valentines Day and everything lovey-dovey and red/pink colored in mind, I went off and made some spiced Beetroot idlis, steamed in heart shaped silicon molds and used shot glasses to serve the idlis with coconut chutney ;-) 



It was so much fun to make these and as soon as I was done photographing them my lil'Appu ate up each and every single one of these red heart idlis!! He loved them...

This fun post is published at Anokhi Media so let's check out further details there, shall we? Hope you all had a fun and love filled Valentines Day!
http://anokhimedia.com/blog/valentines-recipe-cocktail-idli-hearts-with-coconut-chutney-shots


-Manju



Jan 28, 2015

Tomato Rice - a one pot meal!


There’s nothing as comforting as a one-pot meal on busy weekdays or on lazy weekends. Infact if I had it my entirely my way I would have only cooked one-pot meals all the time and be done with my cooking. But sometimes the husband doesn’t prefer that and wants his rice separate, curry and thoran and blah blah all separate…oh! well, thank god he isn’t very choosy and picky about his food, but there are certain things that he’d rather have the traditional way.

When I say one-pot, I mean just that, from start to finish the entire dish is cooked in just one single pan and well if your pan is fancy enough just serve it right out of that ;-)


2 years ago, the beautiful summer of 2013 we had a lovely and flourishing vegetable garden that my wonderful dad grew in our backyard  and we had a bounty full of vegetables for almost an entire year. Tomatoes grew like wild fire and we had so much that we had to infact give away so many bags of tomatoes to our neighbors and friends. We ate the juicy red fruit raw in salads, made pickles, chutneys , masala curries and even froze a whole lot and still we had plenty more.


This Tomato rice was one of the many dishes we made with our organic Tomatoes. And yes, these pics were taken 2 yrs ago when I made this dish with our garden bounty but I still make it exactly like this with any tomato whenever we are in the mood for some tomato rice.


Spicy Tomato Rice

You’ll Need
3 cups Basmati Rice
5 ½ cups water
6-7 large Red Tomatoes, chopped
1 large Red Onion, chopped finely
4 Green Chillies, slit lengthwise
1 Tablespoon Ginger-garlic paste
For tempering
Whole spices – 2 cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 black pepper, 1  star anise, 1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Tablespoons whole Peanuts
1 tesapoon Cumin Seeds
3 Dry Red chillies
8-10 Curry leaves
Spices used
½  teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 teaspoons Kashmiri Chilli powder / regular Red chilli powder
1  teaspoon Garam Masala powder
A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida powder)
Salt – to taste
2 teaspoons chopped Coriander leaves for garnish 
1 teaspoon chopped Mint leaves for garnish 

Directions:
1. In a large pan, heat oil and add the whole spices, roast until fragrant. Add the peanuts and roast until they turn slightly brown. Then add Cumin seeds, Dry red chillies and curry leaves.
2. Add the Ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add chopped red onions and green chillies. Add a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions turn soft and pink.
3. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and hing and mix well. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft. Do not over cook.
4. Finally add the Basmati rice, mix it well with the tomato- masala mix and then add water. Cook until the rice is cooked through. Garnish with some fresh coriander and mint leaves on top and serve hot.


This dish is definitely a one-pot meal and it's spicy, tangy and just wonderful. Just serve it with some cucumber raita and pappad and you’re done. Oh! Btw, we had it with chutta pappadam (not fried ones)…I love chutta pappadam, just place the dried pappadam over a flame until it bubbles and curls up a bit. Don’t make it too charred though… :-)

-Manju

Jan 25, 2015

Goan Shrimp Curry....a recipe feature for Anokhi Media


Who doesn't enjoy a good plate of rice with some warm and mildly spiced seafood dish. My family just loves seafood. It's always on our weekend special menu ;-) Our most favorite ones are those cooked with some coconut based gravy. It turns out creamy, not overly spicy, mildly tangy and just perfect with some rice.
I had prepared this Shrimp curry a while ago and for some reason it was left in my drafts.

Anokhi Media is a popular South-Asian online magazine and I was so honored when they asked me to write for them. I did not think twice about which recipe to share with the magazine and they were more than happy to share this awesome Goan Shrimp Curry on their site.

So dear readers, please do stop by Anokhi Media for the Recipe. See you all again soon!

-Manju 

Jan 15, 2015

Jungle Animals themed Cake


I'm so excited to share my first cake this New Year....a super fun, extremely cute and bright Jungle Animals themed tiered cake. Ridhaan's mom is my very good friend and she had asked me to do his birthday cake many months before. Although I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it (due to some other matters) I finally decided to go ahead. Her only request was for a Mango Mousse filling and some animals to go on the cake to match with the Animal themed birthday party she had in mine. Rest all was left to me and sky was the limit....

I'm proud of this cake for several reasons.
(a) This is my first non-fondant tiered cake with a smooth fondant-like finish. It took a lot of time to get the sides smooth and edges straight but it was worth it. There were some imperfections but let's say I decorated over them...hehe :-P These are very important factors in the word of beautiful cakes so it mattered a lot to me as well and I'm glad it worked well.
(b) This was my first tiered cake with a creamy Mousse filling. Mousse fillings are generally very soft and people don't recommend them for tiered cakes or even for cakes that need to sit out for a long time. But I tried it and it worked fine. Maybe I should thank the freezing temperatures here in Minnesota for that!
(c) My first cake with actual sugar figurines that you can eat! :-D

The Cakes were Vanilla White Cake with creamy Mango Mousse Filling covered with color tinted Vanilla Buttercream with marshmallow fondant accents for decoration and figurines. 

Until now I've never really tried making edible figurines, except for the Clowns I made for Lil'Appu's 1st Birthday Cake. Usually I just keep a plastic toy topper or a themed candle topper and just decorate the rest of the cake. But this time I felt with the animal theme it would be great to have some cute looking animals on the cake, so I went ahead with making them.
I made a Giraffe, Zebra, Elephant and Lion. I wish I had made the giraffe neck longer, but other than that I was happy with the rest of the animal figurines. These were made almost a week in advance and they hardened perfectly. 


My son used to come back daily from daycare and go stare at the animals...he just loved them. He is so used to me making cakes for friends that he doesn't touch or disturb my 'cake stuff' and for some reason he thinks he can go for the party anyways and eat the cake and decorations there (which is usually true)...so after the cake is cut its a whole different story, he wants everything first ;-D 
He kept requesting that I make a Monkey as well and I told him we'll make one directly on the cake. I don't know if he understood, but he kept waiting for the monkey every single day :)

The Tree toppers were a last minute addition. After I placed the animals on the cake with the Lion on top I just felt it needed something more...I thought about placing a Sun, but then the colors of the Lion and sun would be almost same (yellow-orange) , so finally decided to place the same trees that I had placed around the cake. Well, you can call them Coconut trees although the leaves should have been longer ;-) It's all in the imagination....hehe! If you notice I even gave small scale like texture to the stem of the tree to give it a proper 3D tree look. I decorated the cake board with chocolate buttercream to give it a muddy ground like appearance and it looked pretty good.

Then there were vines, some grass, more leaves, coconut trees and flowers to complete the overall look of the cake. I wanted the Monkey to be hanging from the tail on a vine and that's how I did it.


My fun animals :)


My friend had already bought the candle that would go on the cake so we placed that at the venue. Here are some pics of the beautiful Cake Table and cake cutting :)





Here's how the cake slice looked like! It really was yumm if I may say so.....ahem!


I'm still waiting for some more pics that the photographer at the party had taken....I'm sure my friend is waiting for those more than me :-P 
The party was super fun, the decorations were perfect and colorful and the food was awesome and not to mention how lovely the cake was...hehe! 
Lil'Ridhaan happily ate up the sugar Elephant and lil'Appu went for the Lion, but I don't have pics of any of that...hopefully the photographer took some :)

Will share more fun cake stories in upcoming posts...until then take care and bye bye!

-Manju


Jan 13, 2015

Sukhiyan, sweet lentil fritters....a Kerala special snack!




When I think of Sukhiyan I remember Sreeja ammayi's mom. Vanaja aunty is always called as Shasthamangalathile aunty, she is so often called that that I sometimes have no clue what her real name is ;-) Shashthamangalam is a place in Trivandrum, Kerala and Vanaja aunty lives there with her husband. 
Her daughter, our Sreeja ammayi is Manish's mom's brother's wife....Well, anyways Manish's family have been family friends with them for a very very long time and later became relatives and the friendship still stands strong.

After Manish and I got married we had gone to their home several times and every time we went there aunty was ready with Sukhiyan. I love these sweet lentil fritters but these are so rarely made in my home and even in local bakeries it's a rare find these days. So whenever she made them for us with a cup of sweet hot tea, I couldn't resist enjoying myself to a good bunch of these!
Even if we go there unannounced in the middle of the day, she'll make something quickly and would never let us leave without eating and Sukhiyan was almost always her go-to palaharam to make, I just love such people who attracts you with food ;-)

Even though I really enjoyed eating them I never tried making them at home. When my sis-in-law, Malli came home for a vacation, she decided to make these. I was simply excited and went about clicking pics as she made them. So, these were technically made by her and they were super yumm! She even calls them Modakam, so apparently it has a lot of names :)


I have no clue of the origin of it's name but it is popularly called Sukhiyan or Suhiyan and it is a very simple and easy snack to make. Boiled green moong daal is mixed with melted jaggery that's flavored with a pinch of elaichi (cardamom powder), rolled into balls, dipped in batter and deep fried. I could just eat the rolled lentil balls as it is, but there's nothing like a crispy fritter :-) The batter is the same as the one used for Pazhampozhi (plantain fritters).

The ratio of Green moong dal to Jaggery is approx 2:1 respectively. We don't measure it exactly but just add enough melted jaggery that'll help the cooked lentils stick together and form a ball easily. Some like to flavor the jaggery with cardamom powder, dried ginger powder, cinnamon etc...but I prefer it simply flavored with a little cardamom powder. A cup of hot sweet tea and a bowlful of these Sukhiyan...aaah! Let me daydream for a moment :)



Sukhiyan, sweet lentil fritters

You’ll need
1 cup Boiled Green lentils (Moong daal)
½ cup melted Jaggery
½ cup fresh grated Coconut
¼ tsp cardamom powder
For batter
1 cup  All purpose flour (Maida)
1 Tblsp Rice Flour (Ari podi)
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Sugar
A pinch of Salt
¼ cup Water (more or less as needed)
Oil for deep frying



Directions
1. Cook the Green moong daal: Soak the moong daal in cold water for ½ hour. Add to a pressure cooker with enough water to immerse the daal and Pressure cook for 1 whistle. Turn off the heat after 1 whistle and let it cool down by itself. Once cooled open the lid and check if the daal is cooked. Drain off any excess water.
2. Melt the jaggery in a hot pan and add ¼ tsp cardamom powder for flavor. Add the grated coconut and mix well and keep aside to cool slightly. (If you feel the jaggery might be gritty, strain it and then add grated coconut)
3. Make the batter by mixing together all-purpose flour, rice flour, turmeric powder, sugar and salt with enough water to form a smooth batter. Batter should neither be too runny nor too thick.
4. Mix the cooked green moong daal with the melted jaggery and mix together gently. While still warm  start rolling them into equal sized balls .
5.  Heat oil for deep frying and once ready, dip each moong daal ball into the batter and immerse into hot oil. Fry until they turn golden brown.

6. Serve the Sukhiyan hot with a nice cup of hot tea/coffee :)



 

Hope you'll be tempted to try these someday. It's really good and despite the frying, I like to think I'm eating a protein rich snack ;-) My little son too enjoyed these and I want to try making more naadan palaharam for him to show him the food his parents grew up eating and enjoying :-)

-Manju

Jan 2, 2015

Baked Turkey Meatballs in a Berry BBQ Sauce

Welcome to the first post this New Year. I'm not much into making resolutions, but I make plans/goals (well a somber resolution I guess ;-) ). Just few small plans of what I should achieve or what my family should achieve in the new year and generally try to achieve atleast those goals. I love a fresh start to anything and like to consider the New Year as a perfect way to make yourself believe in starting afresh to several things that you slept over in the previous year.

Well, last year I had shared a quick and simple recipe for baked Turkey meatballs. I find them so easy to make and so versatile that it can be transformed into an appetizer or entree as required. I have used them in soups, spicy masala gravy dishes and also transformed them into a bunch of appetizer dishes.

One of our favorite was this Berry BBQ sauce that I made to coat the meatballs with. It was fruity, spicy, sweet yet tart, in all it was a fusion of all kinds of flavors. I actually made the Berry BBQ sauce using some leftover homemade Mixed Berry compote....yes, fruit compote which I used for some cupcakes :-) 
I love fusion flavors like Mango chicken, Orange chicken etc...so that's how this idea came to my mind to convert the mixed berry compote into a bbq sauce.


I made this once to take to a friends place for a casual get-together and she came back asking for the recipe and wanted me to quickly share it on the blog. I wasn't sure if I would get it on the blog so fast, so I gave her the recipe and she promptly tried it and gave a full thumbs up on the recipe.
I again took these for a Thanksgiving potluck and there too everyone raved about the taste and wanted to know how it was made :)

The inspiration for the BBQ berry sauce is Asha's recipe and I spiced it up a bit based on our tastes and availability of ingredients and added some herbs for bit more flavor. It's a very adaptable recipe and I can't wait to try out more varities with it.


Baked Turkey Meatballs in Berry BBQ Sauce
Makes: 35-40 meatballs

You’ll Need
For Turkey Meatballs
1 Lb Ground Turkey
¼ cup Breadcrumbs 
¼ cup grated/powdered Parmesan cheese 
½ cup chopped Red Onions
1 clove minced Garlic
1 large Egg
½ cup chopped Cilantro leaves
1 Tblsp Mint leaves
2 tsp crushed Black Pepper
¼ tsp Salt

For Berry BBQ Sauce
1 cup Mixed Berry Compote (Grinded to a puree) **
1 Tblsp Canola/Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1 Red Onion finely diced
2 Tblsp Minced Ginger
2-3 tsp Garam Masala
4 Green chillies thinly sliced / 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
4 Tblsp Lime juice/Lemon juice
4 Tblsp White Vinegar
2 Tblsp Molasses / Jaggery
2 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce/Soy Sauce
Corriander Leaves / Mint Leaves as needed for Garnish

Directions
For Baked Turkey Meatballs
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with hands until properly incorporated.
3. Use a melon baller to scoop out equal sized balls and place them on a baking sheet covered with wax/parchment paper. This makes about 35-40 mini meatballs. Use an icecream scoop or Tablespoon for bigger meatballs.
4. Bake in oven for 13-15 mins.  (Do not over-bake). Let the meatballs cool on a wire rack.

For Berry BBQ Sauce
1. Heat Oil in a saucepan.  Add the fennel, seeds cumin seeds, red onion, green chillies and saute well.
2. Add all the other ingredients and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it is almost reduced to half it’s original quantity.

Finally, combine around 15-20 of the baked turkey meatballs into the Berry Bqq sauce and simmer for 5 mins on low heat. Turn off the heat. Garnish with chopped coriander or Mint leaves.

Note: You may have to double the recipe for the bbq sauce for coating the whole batch of baked meatballs.

** Mixed Berry Compote:
Add 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 3-4 Tblsp  Sugar and 1 TBlsp Lemon Juice in a pan and cook until the sugar melts and the compote thickens. Use 2-3 tsp cornstarch to thicken the compote if needed. Let it cool completely and use as needed.


-Manju

Dec 31, 2014

My Cake journey in 2014


I wanted to make sure I do a last post for the year, so though I couldn't manage writing up a recipe I'll share a lot of sweet treats with you that I created over the year and Wish you all a very fruitful, healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year 2015! May all your dreams come true...

I might have mentioned this a zillion times before but I will say it again, I love Cakes. My mom was the first person who baked cakes in our entire family and though she made simple cakes, they were a family favorite and I used to be fantasized each time she used to bake. I still remember a Chocolate cake that she baked which kinda overflowed while baking due to too much batter in the pan but that formed a pudding like topping over the cake...it was the bestest Chocolate Cake I have ever eaten till now ;-)
Although I was certain I might bake some day when I grew older I never thought I would actually make so many varieties of themed cakes and 3D structured cakes or try my hand at so many flavors, techniques and tiers of cakes!! 

I never knew that Baking, Designing and Decorating Cakes would be my passion. I can just dream of cakes, all day long. 
This year if there's anything I'm most proud about then it would be the type of cakes I got to make and I'm proud of them all :-)  I'm even more thankful to my family and friends who give me all kinds of opportunities to pursue my passion and who trusts me with baking cakes for their special occasions.

A Celebration is never complete without Cake, so in that sense I've celebrated a lot this year...Lol! So I thought I would share them all with you...yes, all the cakes I baked this year. Most of them have been shared on the blog except for a few, which I will share shortly.

The Celebration Cakes I baked this year:

Patterned Swiss Roll Cake for Valentine's Day
Flavor: Vanilla Sponge Cake with Whipped cream filling and fresh Pineapple chunks

Surprise B'day cake for a dear friend
Flavor: Chocolate Cake with Orange Marmalade cream
Decorated with Chocolate cigarettes and a fun Chantilly design using chocolate ganache


B'day Cake for none other than my hubs, Manish. 
Flavor: Tres Leches Cake with a Lychee Mousse filling topped with Whipped Cream. 
Decorated with Chocolate Lace collar, Maraschino cherries, chocolate cutouts and chocolate shards



A get-together with friends demanded a sweet treat and that too when all of them were pregnant at the same time!! So I baked these mini cakes and decorated them all in different styles. Each got one and they were all so amused.
Flavor: Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream


The year cannot end without me baking my favorite cake: Christmas Fruit Cake
The dry fruits n nuts used in this cake had been soaking in Rum for past 2 yrs ;-) Boooozy!!



The Theme based Cakes baked over the year:

My first ever 3D cake....the cake my little 3 year old loves the most even now, his Dinosaur Cake for his roaaring Dino theme b'day party! 
Flavor: Rich Chocolate Cake (with a mild mocha flavor) with Chocolate chips and Vanilla Buttercream

A Spiderman themed party calls for a Spiderman themed cake for sweet lil'Avyay who turned 3, Avyay is Appu's best bud from 6months old!
Flavor: Black and white:  alternating flavors of Vanilla and Chocolate Cake
I had later added a number 3 cutout in the centre.

A gorgeous Frozen themed Cake baked for our sweet lil'Gia's 1st birthday. We know the little munchkin since she was just few months old and it's been a pleasure to see her grow. 
Flavor: Butter Vanilla with cake slices in alternating shades of blue and white.
Decorated with Blue Ombre rosettes on bottom tier to match the white rosette backdrop and top tier in a Quilt pattern with Blue beads over fondant.



A Construction themed cake with the b'day boys favorite construction toys in a busy construction site!
Flavor: Rich Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese filling, covered in Chocolate Ganache
The decorations included fondant cutouts, crushed brownie bites, graham crackers, buttercream grass and lots of chocolates. The Construction Cone shaped candles were a fun addition to the cake. 


Aditi loves strawberry cakes and is a die-hard fan of the cartoon Callilou. So that was the theme for her 4th b'day cake
Flavor: Strawberry cake with fresh strawberries with creamy Vanilla Buttercream frosting.
The sides of the cake had a Train cutout and also an aeroplane, some alphabets and numbers, making it a very fun cake.



A Bollywood themed birthday cake for a milestone birthday. As Rajeev turned 40, his cake shined with the bling from the dico ball.
Flavor: Top Tier: Butter Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
                  Bottom Tier: Rich Chocolate Ckae with Chocolate buttercream
The cake was coated with Dark Chocolate Ganache and covered with my homemade Marshmallow fondant and each gold bead was stuck by hand, even the Paisleys are hand cut.


A fun and bright cake for a fun little boy, Sanav. My son Appu and Sanav are best buds too and he can never go by any weekend without meeting his favorite Sanav bhaiyya.  Sanav is crazy about Thomas the Train and that was the theme for his cake as he turned 4 this year.
Flavor: Rich Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream


Our good friends tied the knot this year. The wedding called for an elegant tiered wedding cake. This was the first time I made Red fondant, used Gold lustre dust and even worked with Royal icing and I loved the entire experience. It was also my first 3 tiered cake.
Flavor: Bottom Tier: Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
                   Middle Tier: Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Buttecream
                   Top Tier: White Wedding Cake with fresh Mango Buttercream


I realized I had some drawing skills after I made this cake for a program being conducted by our local regional association. The deco on the cake was based on the winning logo that was drawn by a little girl for the logo competition at the program :)
A full Sheet cake all baked at home and decorated with colored gel icing.
Flavor: Rich Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttecream


Cupcakes: Themed and Celebration cupcakes

My first try at 2D royal Icing transfers started with my son's Dino themed Cupcakes. I made 4 different shaped dinos in green and yellow shades and placed them on top of the mini cupcakes I baked apart from the Dino bday cake for his 3rd b'day this year. It was a superb experience and an easy option of making cupcake toppers that both suits the theme and are sweet and edible :)
Cupcake Flavor: Rich Chocolate with Vanilla buttercream (colored orange) and royal Icing Dino topper

Another set of 2 D royal icing cupcake toppers went on these Frozen Themed cupcakes in Blue and Pink shade for a pretty Ruhi celebrating her 8th b'day. The kids were more crazy for the Olaf topped cupcakes. The olaf and snowflakes are made of Royal Icing.
Cupcake Flavor: Rich Chocolate with Vanilla Buttercream
 


I've always wanted to try making sugar flowers, so when the blog turned 3yrs I decided to give it a try. They came out perfect for my first try and my friends who got them were too amused to eat them :-) Pretty Chocolate Cupcakes with dual toned Buttecream roses!
Cupcake Flavor: Rich Chocolate with Vanilla Buttercream


Wanting to give a try at making filled Cupcakes, I made these simple Vanilla Cupcakes and filled them with a sweet and tart mixed berry compote. A small border of vanilla buttecream was all it needed to make these cupcakes pop!
Cupcake Flavor: Vanilla with Mixed Berry compote filling and Vanilla Buttercream


I missed out on a couple of occasions to make cakes, like my own B'day and our Wedding Anniversary etc, but I'm still happy with what I've accomplished this year. I have tons more to learn and want to try my hand at lot more techniques next year and if I master them then maybe do a few tutorials to help out more of you who's yearning to learn :-) 

So with these sweet treats I sign off this year.....Hope you all have a fun time filled with new hope, aspirations and dreams for the coming year. I sure do :-)

Once again here's my family wishing you all a Very Happy New Year 2015!!

-Manju